Boko Haram’s audacious bid to capture Bama, the second largest town in Borno State, second largest city, delivered heavy carnage yesterday, as the sect lost about 50 fighters to the firepower of government troops. The insurgent group is already in control of Gwoza.
Monday’s attack was the fifth attempt by Boko Haram to take over Bama where most leaders of the sect are based.
Boko Haram had always targeted Mohammed Kur Barracks and the police station in the town.
Military sources said between 200 and 300 insurgents invaded Bama early yesterday in a bid to regain control of the town, which they lost in December.
“The invasion was part of their larger plans to take over all towns in Borno State as part of the declaration of an Islamic Caliphate.
“To them, Bama is strategic because most of their deadly commanders hail from the town. For troops to be in control of the area meant that they have lost a coordinating base.
“We know that they would always want to go and come in Bama. So, our troops have always prepared for them,” said a military source.
Director of Defence Information, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said: “Bama attack is being repelled. We cannot state casualty situation/figures now. Everything necessary will be done to contain the terrorists.”
A report said another group of the insurgents was sighted around Mafa Local Government Area and Kayamula villages in Konduga Local Government Area, near Maiduguri metropolis. Those sighted around Kayamula were killed by troops while those around Mafa were suspected to be making frantic efforts to enter the metropolis.
This development, according to sources, was one of the reasons for the review of curfew in the metropolis.
The army reviewed the curfew hours imposed on Maiduguri metropolis and environs, which is now from 6am to 7pm. The spokesman of the 7 Division, Colonel Sank Usman, announced the new time in a statement.